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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i think i figured something out about myself... now what to do next?

i don't like shopping and i didn't go to the sales today.
but i have been looking online for sale prices for the xmas list i've had done since october. :)

when i go shopping, it doesnt matter if i'm in a dollar store or a fancy department store... it's the same thing: do i need this? will i use it if i have it? can it be re-used if not useful for initial purpose and/or have a secondary purpose?

I ask these questions ONLY if the price catches my eye.
Sure, i go to a store w/certain things in mind... but I look almost solely at the price and then decide "would so& so like/use/want this?"... then come the series of questions (above).

Growing up my folks argued constantly about money.
We kids did a LOT without... which is fine. We survived, had food daily (though not every meal), didn't get all the toys on tv but had a few faves.... we survived.

But I think because I was the youngest, the only girl, who wore her brothers hand-me-downs, had many of their toys (hand-me-downs) & cousins/neighbors clothes/toys as well... I think I got the wrong message from all of this... "I can do without, because they need."
"They" being everyone but me.

I didn't need much as a young child w/siblings much older than I was. So I went w/out so they could have things, go places, be whatever, do whatever. This explains why I'm a minimalist today.
"I'll just do w/out because I don't really need it..."

Now, it's easy to say "just treat yourself once in a while."
I can't. I can't talk myself into buying that 5$ purse I like at the thrift store because "I already have 2, don't need anymore, so it's a waste" even though I really liked it and would've used it.
I can't spend money on clothes I may need, because I just donated half my wardrobe that was perfectly fine, but doesn't fit my career/lifestyle any longer.

I have a hard time spending money at restaurants. I always look for the cheapest (I'm willing to eat) on the menu. I always tip, sure. But I make sure "I" get the cheapest... I don't care so much what someone else (on my tab) buys. I eat popcorn (airpopped, plain) for dinner while I make my family something.

I think that makes me "cheap"... not frugal. Though I have some frugal habits.

Now, I'm just not sure how or what to change.
 

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I go through somewhat the same thing. I did not really go through what you went through, there was money issues but my mom would go without so me and my brother would have (but we were by no means spoiled with everything we wanted, we had things we needed, food was always there, we would get the occasional toy we wanted if it could be found at a flea markeet or yard sale). I go through the same thing now in regards to myself, when asked what I want, I have no needs or wants, if I get a gift card as a present, I buy for others before myself.

I seriously think it just boils down to you just like to lead a simplier lifestyle. Which can be a wonderful thing-KWIM? I do try to treat myself once in awhile, BUT I deal with guilt after the fact (I am sure you probably go through the same thing when you do get yourself something that you desperatley need!).Maybe next time you see a purse for $5 you like, even though you may have 2, it would be nice to have a new purse you like just in case (if that may help you question on if to purchase it!).
 

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I went through something similar when I was younger. Growing up we didn't have a lot, we had enough, but not extra. And my parents grew up with even less and were constantly driving into us how little they had and how "lucky" we were.

So as an adult on my own I still had all this going around in my head, and some of it was good advice, "No, I don't need this, I can save my money", but on the other hand a lot of it was GUILT brought on by my parents. I felt wasn't supposed to enjoy the steak dinner because I was lucky to be able to afford the restaurant at all... even when I did have the money to buy any entree I wanted.

It took a long time to get out of living in my parent's head and being in control of my own wants and desires. Maybe I don't want that purse because I already have two perfectly good ones. Or maybe I do want it because it is cute and it will make me feel pretty good for $5 instead of $45. Either way it is MY choice, and not something I decide because I had emotional issues left over from my childhood.

I think you did get the wrong message about doing without. You should only be going without if it serves a greater need. You serve a child before you serve yourself dinner. You don't skip meals because you feel guilty about having food. Get the entree you want and pay the extra $4, it's your life now.
 

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Wow! I might have written this.
I've recently started asking myself this question in situations where I'm not doing something for myself that would be nice to do and not foolish. "Why won't you do this for yourself?"
It's impacted my lifestyle, in a good way.
 
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We are very much alike, but I think it is just personality not upbringing. I never had to go without anything as a child, I come from a well off family. But I still don't spend money on myself, I don't buy things I don't need, I always choose the cheapest option for myself, and I can't count the number of times I've had popcorn for supper. I've always been that way, even as a child. I never spent my allowance, my mother used to try to force me to buy clothes as a teenager and I wasn't interested.

I just think it's a personality type. I do force myself to buy things I really really really want, but I have to do a lot of research and thought beforehand. It doesn't matter if it's a $1 or a $1000 purchase. I passed up a piece of art on our trip to Arizona in 2003 that I have always regretted, and that regret helps to remind me that money has a purpose other than sitting in my bank account.
 

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I just think it's a personality type. I do force myself to buy things I really really really want said:
Exactly Palooka! You or somebody else earned that money, and unless your TRUE pleasure is looking at your bankbook, than by all means whatever pleasure and happiness you can receive from it than by all means spend it!

To me, unless it's for wanting to pay off a bill or saving for a large purchase, what truly is the point of self denial? Ask your self, what will really change in my life by denying myself the pleasure enjoying a steak dinner? :scratch: I personally have never found it to be any mind boggling amount. Look how you have a regret from 6 years ago, and I repeat 6 years ago for passing up that piece of art that would have given you pleasure to look at. It's just not worth it. I learned to draw the line myself. I too thought money was not for spending, but after having cancer, it showed me that life is for living. And I mean enjoying your living!

Of course balance is always in order, but undoubtedly you're nobody's fool. Just don't let it ALL pass you by. We only live to regret it!

Hoping the best for all of us who feel this way!

HUGS to all! :mushy:

Theresa :)

PS-i hope my post didn't offend or hurt anybody's feelings. i'm just speaking from the heart here. :nerv2:
PPS- and believe me, i'm just as frugal as anybody else here, i just HAVE to know there's a reward for it....:confused: maybe i'm a little cheap too after all...lol!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
it's so nice to know that others are similar to me.

i felt so sad yesterday when it dawned on me that i do without because for so long I felt i was "supposed to"... like sacrifice is my name! seriously!!

I'm not a big shopper anyway, but it sure would be nice to buy something simple... heck, that purse, (5$ is WAY better than it's normal price i'm sure!)... or little things I see that would be nice for the house... much like MW's art.

I like: "Why won't you do this for yourself?"
it's perfect! "why won't I do this for me?"
The answer would come up as... i don't know... i already have one, and wouldn't feel right having 1+ *gasp! lol
If it's "i probably won't use it" that sounds justifiable.
But "i dont know." or "i feel guilty if i buy this"...
I've gotta nix that guilt!

wow, i'm feeling SO much better now just knowing others out there have had the same though I have. :)
 

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I honestly think it is a personality type. I grew up in a home where I was given a lot. I still have difficulty spending money. We have a healthy bank account and just recently I have come to the realization that my house looks as if I just moved in even though I have been here for 3 years. I looked around and realized I never bought curtains to fit the windows, rugs to keep the dirt out of the house, and pictures. I lost 50 lbs. but I wear only three pairs of pants and wash frequently because I am too cheap to buy more. I have created situations that are ridiculous. I have had to take a deep breath, open my wallet, and purchase what I need. Understand purchase what I need. Life is short, and I can't take it with me.
 

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QUOTE I think that makes me "cheap"... not frugal. Though I have some frugal habits.

Now, I'm just not sure how or what to change. UNQUOTE

Do you really WANT to change or do you feel that you SHOULD change. Big difference.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
NikoSan...
to answer your question, it's probably a little of both.
I feel like I should change... my perspective on _why_ I should spend money.

I'm an excellent excuse maker & can make excuses to do or not to anything.
So I tend to talk myself out of anything... be it things I don't need, but would be nice to have (ie, an extra pair of jeans, I have one pair)... or buy lunch out w/friends & say I'm not hungry (when I'd simply order water & a small side salad because it's a dollar or less).

I have what seem to be extreme habits... I do without - sacrifice, so to speak - for that "just in case"... who knows when I'll need that extra 5$!? So i can "do without today, to possibly have or need tomorrow."

That also makes it difficult for others to buy for me.
The holidays is what made me think of this.

I've just always had this idea that "i dont deserve"... because I don't "need". I have a roof, food, clothing. I'm happy with that.

It makes me look/feel cheap when I get comments from family/friends about my making a nice dinner & eating only popcorn. Not buying something I "would like" (that they may interpret as a need... like that extra pair of pants) is being cheap. Or being an embarassment because I order a small salad & a side dish at dinner... while others order an entree (ok, i'm a picky foodie, so it's hard to find what i can/will eat).

So, I try but I still keep hearing that "do you REALLY need that?" voice or the "how useful is this going to be?".
"Will they really like or use it... or will it set around?"

Why can't I buy that really nice radio w/all the bells & whistles?
Because the one over there is cheaper... doesnt have "all those bells/whistles" but it's still functional.
That doesn't mean my nephew will like the one "I" would choose (because it's cheaper).

This I think helps me understand why I really am (as in another post I made) a really bad gift giver.
 

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I think I am frugal, but my sister is really hung up on spending even a dime. She has plenty of money & has never been poor, but she sure gets uptight when it comes to spending money. She once went to a doctor for problems with her feet. He told her to get a particular type of shoe. I was with her when she bought them. The next day she took them back , because she "couldn't" spend that much money. She then bought shoes at the goodwill that were not the type her doctor ordered, but told everyone they were... She also eats stuff that most people throw out, then gets mad when we don't want to eat at her house. She tries to trick me into eating things she thinks I need to learn to eat. Don't get me wrong, I can eat pretty cheaply & would certainly try alternatives if I ran into hard times. I don't think putting a half pound of meat in a pot of chili makes me a spendthrift.
 

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I try to be frugal not in order to manage my money, though that would be a good reason (or because I am half Scottish :) ), but because I can see that it is what we will all need to do in the tough times that lie ahead.

As far as the economy goes, the party is over. I am in my mid-50s. I really believe that, in my remaining lifetime, I will see times when having more than you need will be seen as socially unacceptable, and perhaps even criminal. Certainly those times will come in the lifetimes of younger people alive today.

So I am not asking myself the questions "Am I being cheap?" or "Do I deserve it?". I am asking myself, "Do I need it?" and "Is it more than my fair share?" and "Is it wasteful?" If I already have something, I ask, "Do I really need two of them?" and "What will I do with the one I already have?". If I don't have one, I ask, "Will I really use it?"

I see frugality as practice for those tough times, and as the only way to minimize the suffering that lies ahead.

So, perSue, I think that the questions you are asking yourself are sensible and responsible.
 

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Definately understand where you are coming from. For a period of time I really had to watch every penny I spent. Well this became such an ingrained habit I didn't realize that the clothes I was wearing were really awful and needed to be thrown away!!! I realized this when I started watching the show What not to wear.

Last month I actually went and bought real perfume. I haven't had perfume in about ten years because I thought it was so expensive and I just could not justify the expense. I am so used to not wearing it that I forget I have it. So everytime I put it on I think I am doing something special for myself.

Try not to be so hard on yourself. It may just be the way you are. Right now I need to put a break on the spending. Which is fine since x-mas is covered and I can not think of anything I need or want. Plus all my bills and expenses and covered.

Try and see if you can afford to set aside some "mad" money each month. This would be for anything you might consider something you do not need. This way that xtra purse you see may feel good when you buy it.

I sort of due the same thing at restaurants. But for me it is, I have a set amount that I will spend. So I pick out an entree that is within my budget. Grant it, I rarely go out to eat. Tomorrow I will be going to an Indian restaurant for their all you can eat lunch buffet. I love indian food and fortunately the person I am going with loves it also. We sit there saying we are eating like gods.
 

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I'll go with it being a personality type. It makes me cringe and stew to spend anything unnecessary. I think it has to do with always being afraid the other shoe is going to drop. I pretty much get no pleasure from buying things and HATE to get gifts. I make myself buy some frivolous things for the kids because I don't want them to have my hang ups and I keep thinking it's like therapy and at some point it'll get easier but not so far.
 
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I agree with most of the posts but I do think we get into such a frugal mindset that we overlook the idea behind being frugal in the first place. I think being tight with money for "stuff" is different than being economical. Like the Good Book says--everything in moderation !
 
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Now, I'm just not sure how or what to change.
Wanting to change is the first step, but you also have to be READY to change. The fact that you're not sure *what* to change makes me think you may not be ready yet? I think when you're really ready to change, you will know what is needed....it will be too painful or difficult to continue the old behavior. Or at least that's the way it's always been for me. So I guess I would ask you....which of the behaviors you mentioned in your post is creating the most discomfort for you at this time? Maybe that's a good starting point. One thing I would not recommend is trying to fix everything at once. It can be way too overwhelming to do that. Pick one thing you want to change and focus on that. When you feel successful in that area, move on to the next. Good luck to you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
thanks...
i guess i'm most concerned about only looking at things in terms of "how much does that cost" first... before even thinking "would i (or someone if i'm buying a gift) really like/use/want it?"

definitely something will catch my eye... first thing i do is look at the price... if it's too much... i walk away.
if it's reasonable...THEN i weigh how much someone would like the item against the cost.

i do the same thing for myself... and it makes it difficult for ppl to buy anything FOR me.
then i seem super picky - which i'm not all that much with "stuff".

so to change so it's easier for me to buy & easier for others to buy for me... and so i dont seem so "miserly" i think would be helpful for everyone.

it's changing the way i see "things".
i dont see a shirt... i see a 45$ shirt... or a coffeepot... it's a 30$ coffeepot. Etc....

I don't buy or avoid simply based on cost... i'm entirely aware of value & that's definitely a part of determining it's value to me, based on cost, brand perhaps, how it would be used etc.

thanks
 

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it's changing the way i see "things".
i dont see a shirt... i see a 45$ shirt... or a coffeepot... it's a 30$ coffeepot. Etc....

I don't buy or avoid simply based on cost... i'm entirely aware of value & that's definitely a part of determining it's value to me, based on cost, brand perhaps, how it would be used etc.

thanks
What criteria would use use to determine an items value and usefulness to you, and in what order of importance would you rank them? It sounds like cost is at the top of the list right now, so I think you'd probably have to make a conscious effort to assign cost a lower level of importance until new habits are formed. Of course you wouldn't want to remove cost as criteria altogether.....let's face it, it is an important factor....but how to give it the right importance. This is interesting, and it's giving me some ideas on how to address some areas I'd like to change myself. Thank you!
 

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I have had periods where money was very tight, and somehow, that seems to have stuck in my behaviour. That behaviour was already formed by my frugal parents; the tight periods have enhanced it. My needs are very few, and I've taught myself to cater to some of my wants.

The rule? I have to fall in love with the 'want'. No falling-in-love equals no-spending-money-on-it. So the long woollen black coat is now mine at $140. I wear it to work everyday and get lots of compliments. I take good care of it and hope to wear it for at least another 5 years (it's 3 yrs old now).
 
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